In collaboration with health and wellness partners, University of The Bahamas (UB) has launched a 12-week programme to encourage Bahamian citizens to commit to a lifestyle of regular exercise and healthy dietary habits. The initiative is critically important as The Bahamas ranks number one in the world with diabetes, number six globally with obesity and has one of the worst hypertension rates in the Americas. The UBFIT Road to Wellness programme, in partnership with Elite Wellness Solutions and Weight Watchers Bahamas, serves as a clarion call for The Bahamas to turn the tide against chronic non-communicable diseases, while engaging the community in healthy lifestyle habits.
Health and wellness professionals, Ministry of Health officials and members of the public joined the UB community for the recent launch of the programme at the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre. Minister of Health Dr. Hon. Duane Sands lauded the initiative as something that could save Bahamian lives. “In 2007, CARICOM Heads of State met and predicted that we would see, over the subsequent 20 years, a 300% increase in deaths from non-communicable diseases. Unfortunately, I don’t think we got that call and our people continue to drop like flies…I am pleased to see that this [initiative] is happening at many different levels and maybe if we keep this up, we can make a difference in the lives of the people of The Bahamas that we love so much,” he said.
UBFIT Road to Wellness provides Bahamians with easy access to the resources and professionals needed for proper exercise and nutrition. The UB community is participating in bi-weekly treks around the Oakes Field Campus track to prepare for the upcoming UBFIT race on 7th April. Employees have also joined the Weight Watchers at Work programme and the Culinary Arts and Tourism Studies (CATS) academic unit is giving periodic healthy cooking demonstrations. These are in addition to bi-monthly health and lifestyle lectures and high-impact workout sessions on Saturday mornings at UB’s Wellness Centre. Participants can also sign up for a lifestyle modification and behavioral change programme component. UB’s Vice President of Operations Mr. Ronnie Stevenson fully supports the initiative, having himself made a renewed health commitment.
“At University of The Bahamas, we are innovators in research, education and now health and wellness. I too have joined the Road to Wellness…several months ago, I took a real look at myself and decided it was time to make some adjustments, lose some pounds and get more active. I even completed my first triathlon with Team UB,” he said. UBFIT Organizing Committee Chair Kandice Eldon lauded the public-private partnerships formed through this new concept. “The launch event brought together successful Bahamian health and wellness experts who shared vital information on lifestyle modification and behavioral change, sustainable nutrition, spiritual wellness and overcoming childhood obesity. We are so pleased to have the support of UB alumni and community partners, especially Ethan Quant, AA’04, CEO of Elite Wellness Solutions who proudly gave back to his alma mater through his resources and various networks to make the Road to Wellness a success,” she noted.
The UBFIT Road to Wellness is open to the public. All are welcome to join the UBFIT movement in preparation for the second annual UBFIT Fun Run Walk Bike Skate fundraising event in April. To register for the Road to Wellness or sponsor the upcoming UBFIT event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 302-4354.